Earlier at a Samsung event, we were able to briefly play with an actual unit of Samsung Galaxy Tab’s big brother, the Tab 10.1. This is not the first 10-inch Honeycomb tablet we laid our dirty hands on, the Acer Tab A500 was the first but we love the slimmer and more polished look of the Tab 10.1.
First thing we noticed was the slim profile of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. At 8.6mm it’s a teeny bit slimmer than the iPad 2. Then there’s the gorgeous 10.1-inch display making it slightly larger than the iPad 2 and it boasts of a crisp 1280 x 800 display resolution. There are no physical buttons on its bezel. Everything’s done onscreen. Frankly, I didn’t like the look of the persistent Android buttons at the lower part of the screen. Didn’t check if I could hide it when playing games or videos.
On the right side you’ll see the SIM slot, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD slot, the sliver of a volume rocker and Power button. On the left side is the charging and data port similar to the original Galaxy Tab. There’s nothing on the top and bottom side except for small speaker grills.
Samsung retained the Tab’s white back plate on this one although they added a metallic portion on top where the 3.15 megapixel camera lens and LED flash are situated. There’s a 2 megapixel front-facing camera too by the way.
We didn’t see any hints of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI and a rep told us that there’s none. It’s just pure Google Android Honeycomb experience which is not bad at all. Response was very speedy thanks to a dual-core 1GHz processor and navigation was intuitive. I couldn’t find a video that I can test with but Angry Birds looked really good on a bigger screen.
I think I saw one of the glitches of Honeycomb. As I was playing Angry Birds, I pressed the multitask button but it won’t show the open tasks. It just paused the game and I was stuck at the menu. I had to press Home to see my open tasks and when I tried to go back to my game, it started all over again. Don’t know if it’s Honeycomb or Angry Bird’s compatibility with the new OS.
Even without any changes on the UI, Samsung included the Music Hub and Reader Hub which are pretty self explanatory. We were also told that they will be partnering with an online music content provider so you can buy your music with your Tab ala iTunes. Social Hub is not needed as the Honeycomb’s Contacts app pretty much does the same thing, aggregate social network status and info of your contacts which you can access in one page.
It’s important to note that unlike the original Galaxy Tab, you can’t make calls with your 3G plan here. It’s a drawback you must live with when choosing to go with Honeycomb.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is expected to be available by the
first week of June end of July with a price tag of less than Php30,000. WiFi version is still in the works so don’t look for that yet. Overall, the Tab 10.1’s design really reminds me of the iPad sans the “œHome” button. But I love the slimness, the huge screen and the speedy UI on this one.
UPDATE: The final version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with Honeycomb 3.1 and Samsung TouchWiz 4.o.